Money Mondays: Use Prepper Skills to Avoid Food Waste

Use Prepper Skills to Avoid Food Waste

This post is by Bernie Carr,

I was catching up on my article reader and found these two articles about food waste that riled me up: About 40 Percent Of All Food In The United States Is Thrown In The Garbage  and Top 20 Foods Wasted

It is such as shame that so much food is wasted while other people are going hungry.   We can’t do anything about industrial food waste, but we can certainly minimize throwing away good food in our own homes.

The same self-sufficiency skills that we are learning as preppers also come in handy in helping stretch the food dollar by avoiding waste.


  • Use your cooking skills to rescue overripe bananas from the trash by making banana bread.
  • Make croutons out of dry, old bread before it turns moldy.  Here’s a quick recipe:  Slice the bread into small squares.  Drizzle olive oil over the bread pieces.  Sprinkle garlic and onion salt over the mixture as well; use your favorite herbs such as basil, oregano etc for flavor.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (your oven temps may vary).  Check periodically to make your croutons don’t get overly brown.
  • Make soup or broth out of roast chicken bones, and vegetable scraps.  Store bits of leftover meats, vegetables and starches in a large plastic container in your freezer.  Once you have a good amount, add chicken or beef broth, a few herbs such as parsley and a bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and make soup.
  • When you carve your Halloween pumpkin, don’t throw out the pumpkin seeds.  Wash the seeds thoroughly, removing any pulp.  Dry on a towel or paper towels.  Spread them on a cookie sheet and mix with 2 tbsp of oil.  Add you favorite seasonings or just plain salt and bake in the over at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Keep checking every 10 minutes to they don’t brown too much.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Add some more seasoning if you like.  That’s it!
  • Make it a habit to eat leftovers for lunch the next day.  Now that the holidays are only a few months away, you will have lots of opportunities to stretch your food budget:  See Avoid Holiday Food Waste
  • If your family does not like leftovers, cook less food.  Cut the recipe in half.


  • I was guilty of using only a pinch of herbs for a recipe and allowing the rest to wilt in the fridge – until I tried drying the herbs myself.  I don’t own a food dehydrated yet, but it is easy to do:  See Drying Herbs without a Food Dehydrator


  • Canning is a great way to preserve the bounty of each season.  Or, if you find you have an overabundance of a certain fruit in your yard, don’t let them go to waste by canning the extra fruit.  If you don’t want to commit to buying canning equipment, make refrigerator preserves.  They won’t last as long, but at least you can make use of the fruit for a longer time.


  • Some of my most popular posts is about growing food from trash.   I was surprised to find that new growths could come out of green onion roots, celery stumps and discarded ginger pieces.  The photo above shows a fresh crop of green onions from roots I had left in the refrigerator.
  • Use old coffee grounds and crushed egg shells to supplement your soil.

These are just a few ideas for rescuing food and making use of items that would have otherwise been thrown out.  Please share your favorite tips in the comments so everyone can pick up a few ideas.

© Apartment Prepper 2016

Updated from a previous post that was originally published on Oct 29, 2013



Why Get in Shape if You are Not Planning to Bug Out?

Why Get in Shape if You are Not Planning to Bug Out

This post is by Bernie Carr,

One of the most heated discussions in the prepping community is whether to shelter in place or bug out.  A large number of preppers’ first choice would be to shelter in place, and why not?  All your supplies are on hand and you are comfortable where you are.  So let’s just say hypothetically, you decided to stay in your home.   You won’t be using your bug out bag because you won’t be leaving.  But you still need to be in decent shape, even if you are staying home.


You may need to search for water

Assuming a large scale disaster with no running water coming from the tap, you will eventually run out of water.  This means you will have to go out and find a water source, which could be a distance away.  When you do find water, you will then need to take several containers and carry those water-filled containers back to your home.  Sounds tiring, even as I sit here writing about it.

You may need to gather firewood

In a disaster you will need to find a way to heat your home and a way to cook food.  Therefore you will need to gather firewood for the fireplace.  If you are using a rocket stove, you will need kindling.  As I found out from camping and backpacking, firewood runs out very quickly and everyone has to take turns gathering firewood.

You may need to defend your home

If it is truly a collapse, your security will be threatened.  If you have to defend your home, being in shape will give you an edge against your attackers.  Getting and staying in shape improves your speed, endurance and reflexes.

You may need to forage, trade or hunt for food

Once food eventually runs out, or if you are just trying to supplement your supplies, you’ll still need to go out and find food.   When I interviewed Selco, who lived through SHTF in Bosnia, he described having to go out at night in groups to find what they needed.

Without modern conveniences, all chores will require energy

Without prepared foods and electric appliances, you will need to do everything by hand.  When I tried doing laundry off grid, I found that it took a lot of energy to wash clothes, especially wringing the water out.

Even waste disposal will require work

Without running water and trash pickup, the waste will need to be buried.  In the same article, Selco also described having to dig a lot of holes to dispose of waste.

Thinking about all these everyday conveniences that we can potentially lose in a TEOTWAWKI situation gave me a new appreciation for things we take for granted.

Everyday survival will take a lot of energy.  Even if you plan to stay home and ride out the crisis, it would be best to get in shape before anything happens.  And, if nothing were to happen, you are still better off health wise.

© Apartment Prepper 2016


Updated from a previous post that was originally published on Oct 22, 2013

Self-Sufficiency Skill: Basic Shoe Care

Basic Shoe Care

This post is by Bernie Carr,

One of my earliest memories was of my grandfather showing me how to shine our “church shoes.”  He was very particular about his appearance, but was very frugal so he kept his shoes looking new for years.   In my free spending days, I never bothered to shine my shoes as I got rid of them as soon as they showed signs of wear.  I was not alone in this, as our throwaway society encourages us to replace things as soon as possible.  When I realized the folly old ways, I started taking better care of my footwear and began to utilize the services of a cobbler.   Alas, the lack of customers drove many of the shoe repair stores out of business.   There are still a few around town, but they are a distance away.   As times get tougher, it is worth our time to learn some basic shoe care.  I also believe footwear is important enough to warrant some attention, in case you every have to walk out of the city in an emergency, so you might as well take care of them.

Preventive Care

  • When you buy a new pair of shoes, spray them with waterproofing spray.  We sprayed all our hiking boots with this and they have held up pretty well so far.
  • Alternate shoes between wearings.  Shoes that are worn daily will be susceptible to moisture and odors as they do not get a chance to dry out.  Wearing socks and hose also prevent moisture from seeping into the shoes.
  • To avoid odor problems, swipe the insides with rubbing alcohol and let dry (avoid getting this on the leather) OR dust lightly with baking soda between wearings.
  • Clean the exterior of your shoes as soon as they get dirty.  Even kids’ athletic shoes will benefit from regular cleanings.
  • Polish leather shoes periodically to keep them from getting cracked.

Caring for Hiking Boots

  • Breaking in your boots prior to wearing on a long hike.
  • Clean boots after every hike.  Use a brush to remove grit and dirt.
  • Remove the insoles and allow the inside to dry as well.
  • If the boots get wet, place boots upside down to let them dry.  Let dry in normal temperature, but if you are in a hurry, you can place them in front of an electric fan.
  • Do not place boots next to a heater, stove or fire, as this may weaken the construction or warp the boots.
  • Store them in a clean, dry area, in normal temperature.  If they get moldy, wipe them down with a mixture of vinegar (20%) and water (80%)

How to Polish Leather Shoes

Shoe care kit

Shoe care kit

The steps are pretty much the same as what my grandpa had taught me.  A basic shoe care kit includes:  shoe polish closely matching the color of your shoes, horsehair brush,  rags, old toothbrush.  Here are the basic steps:

1.  Line your work area with newspapers.

2.  Clean the surface area of the shoes so they are free of dust.  Use the old toothbrush to clean the edges between the upper and the sole of the shoe.

3.  Lightly apply the shoe polish to the leather in a circular motion.  You will want to get the wax into any cracks as this will condition the leather.  Let it dry for a couple of minutes.

4.  Buff the shoes with the brush using a light back of forth motion, following the grain of the shoes.  You will notice the shoes getting shinier as you keeping brushing.

5. Optional:  Lightly spritz the shoes with plain water and buff with a soft cloth such as an old t-shirt, using a back and forth motion.  This will give the shoes an additional “spit shine.”

5.  Carefully pick up the newspapers as they will have greasy black specs on them from the cleaning process.

Quick Repairs

Complex repairs such as replacing a sole or a broken heel are best done by a cobbler.  Some quick repairs can be done successfully at home with a strong adhesive such as Shoe Goo.  I’ve had some success repairing athletic shoes with Shoe Goo so it is worth keeping the stuff at home.

© Apartment Prepper 2016

Updated from a previous post that was originally published on 12/14/2011


Power Outage Survival Stove

Power Outage Survival Stove

Every year, people go into a panic mode when a winter storm comes, power goes out and they have no way to heat their homes.  I’ve received various emails from readers wondering how to heat their apartments when electricity is out.  Unless you’ve already installed a wood-burning stove, there are very few options out there.  I’ve written about this subject and always thought there must be another way.

Then I heard from Kevin Cox.  Kevin has developed a power outage survival stove that can be stored un-assembled in a closet or garage, and wheeled out whenever you need to heat in an emergency such as power outage during a snow storm.  The Power Outage Survival stove is a temporary wood burning stove that you can keep just for emergencies.

Kevin has a Kickstarter Project:  Power Outage Survival Stove  ( to get this stove developed.   The Power Outage Survival Stove Kickstarter has all the details.  You won’t find a slick advertising package; what you will find is the idea is a good one, and the features of this stove, once developed can really help a lot of people prepare for a heating emergency.

Power outage survival stove 02

Kevin Cox working on the assembly of the Power Outage Survival Stove

Power outage survival stove 04

Outside vent of the Power Outage Survival Stove

Here are some details about the Power Outage Survival Stove:

  • Requires no tools to assemble – uses wing nuts to put together.
  • All the parts easily fit inside the unit for storage
  • Unit weighs 50 lbs. total, but it has wheels and can easily be rolled to the room you wish to heat.
  • Can easily warm up a room up to 300 square feet
  • Spark arrestors are built in to prevent fire.
  • Comes with a window sleeve to fit your window where the exhaust pipe is attached.  The exhaust goes out the stove pipe like any other wood stove.
  • You need wood to burn, and a window to run the exhaust.  In an emergency you may need alternatives – Duraflame logs would work, as well as coal on a temporary basis
  • Can be assembled to fit in homes, apartments or RVs, as long as you have a window to run the exhaust.  Make sure the room is well-ventilated.
  • Being a wood stove, you can also cook on the top surface.
  • When not in use, stove can be stored in a pantry or closet.

The Power Outage Survival Stove Kickstarter is definitely worth your while to investigate.  Check out the Kickstarter page and watch the video to see how it is assembled.  Take in all the details – if you have any questions, there is an “Ask a Question” button under the FAQ that you can click to ask Kevin your question.


Disclosure: This is a professional review site that sometimes receives compensation or free merchandise from the companies whose products we review and recommend. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Money Mondays: Save on Food Storage Items at Aldi’s


Save on Food Storage Items at Aldis1

This post is by Bernie Carr,

A while back, an Aldi’s grocery store opened near my area.  Many residents in the neighborhood had never heard of Aldi’s before.  One neighbor said she tried it, and did not like the selection because she was very brand conscious and could not find her name brands.  As a bargain shopper, I don’t have anything against store brands; oftentimes, they are made by the same manufacturers but under a different label.  I decided to do a little research and check it out for myself.

What is Aldi’s?

Aldi’s is a grocery chain that was originally founded in Germany.  You may be familiar with Trader Joe’s – it is owned by the sister company of the owner of Aldi’s.  Aldi Sud runs the Aldi’s stores in the U.S., and Aldi Nord owns Trader Joe’s as well as the Aldi stores in Europe.  There are around 1,500 Aldi’s locations all over the U.S. so it is likely you have one near you.

Their stores are designed to give you the best value for your money, while maintaining quality.  I soon found out how this all works.

Shopping Carts:  They keep shopping carts in the front of the store.  To get a cart, you need to use a quarter, and when you return the cart, you get a quarter back.  This way, they save on clerks having to hunt down carts, and it doesn’t really cost you anything, since you get your money back when you return the cart.

Grocery Bags:  You need to bring your own.  Reusable grocery bags are available at the checkout counter at $0.06 each, but I brought my own.

House Brands:  Aldi’s carries mostly their house brands.  They do offer a select number of name brands such as Tide, Gatorade, Coke just to name a few.  I have been taste testing the house brands and I have found them to be good quality.

Aisles:  At my local store, the items are stacked in the boxes they came in, the aisles are organized and inventory grouped together but aisles are not labeled as regular grocery stores.  However it is not hard to find items that you need.

Meats and Produce:    They have great prices on meats, and have great specials every Wednesday.  The items get sold out quickly though.  think Aldi’s has the best produce prices in town.  They have a good selection of organics.  I always to stop there first to pick up fruits and vegetables on my list, as the prices are consistently lower than at other stores, but the quality is up to par.  If you do not have a garden but would like to dehydrate produce or do some canning, you can stock up on seasonal produce at Aldi’s.

Save on Food Storage Items at Aldis2

Food Storage Items:  They have great prices on food storage basics such as flour, sugar, salt, rice and beans.  You can easily repackage these foods for long term storage by following directions here.  I have also bought canned goods, olive oil, long lasting foods such as honey, vinegar, peanut butter, ramen etc.

Save on Food Storage Items at Aldis3

The Double Guarantee

If for some reason you do not like what you purchased at Aldi’s, you can return the unused product in its packaging to the store manager and he or she will replace the item AND refund your money.  (Per their website “The Double Guarantee does not apply to non-food Special Buy items, alcohol, national brands and non-quality related issues.”)  I think it’s a pretty good guarantee, and therefore I don’t mind trying their brand out.  So far, I have been pleased with the quality and have not had to return anything.

Final tips

I am not affiliated with Aldi’s, other than being a satisfied customer.  If you are interested in food savings, give them a try, but remember these tips:

  • Bring a quarter for the shopping cart, then remember to return it to get your quarter back.
  • Bring your own reusable grocery bags
  • Shop with a list.
  • Coupons are not accepted
  • Check the store hours.  Aldi’s are open between 9 am and 9 pm – not early or very late as this saves on labor costs.
  • Each week, they feature “Red Hot Deals” in the middle of the store – usually seasonal type items such as grilling utensils, kitchen gadgets, outdoor decor etc.  If you are in the market for a particular item, it is worth looking into.
  • They now accept all forms of payment, cash, debit, and credit.

I have been able to save around 20%-30% off my grocery budget, without giving up on quality.  I think it’s a good source for food storage items for your emergency pantry.


© Apartment Prepper 2016

5 Easy Things You Can Do This Weekend to Become Better Prepared

5 Easy Things You Can Do This Weekend to Become Better Prepared

This post is by Bernie Carr,

Getting started with preparedness can be overwhelming.   Most people immediately focus on how much gear they need, and how much they don’t have.  Then you worry about how much this is all going to cost and where the money is coming from.  It does not have to be like that.

Here is a list of five easy and free activities you can do this weekend, and you will instantly be a lot better off in terms of preparedness than your were last weekend:

1.   Go “shopping” in your own home.  Take a small box or laundry basket with you and go through your home.  Look at all closets, and boxes in the garage.  Pick up all items that will come in handy for the next emergency.  Find flashlights, matches and lighters, camping lanterns, sleeping bags or even just extra blankets, old battery operated radio, extra toilet paper, trash bags, etc. Even forgotten gift cards with a few cents left can help with your prepping efforts.  All too often, people forget what they already have lying around.  When I went through this exercise, I discovered several items I had forgotten about, and was glad I checked before buying new items at the store.

2.  Clean empty soda bottles and start filling them with water.  To disinfect a bottle, just add a teaspoon of bleach to a gallon of water.  Rinse the soda bottle with this, then rinse well with tap water.  Fill it up with tap water, use a permanent marker add a date on the bottle.  This way you will remember when the bottle was filled.  You can also partially fill some of the bottles (leaving a few inches room for expansion) and freeze them.  You will have ice to keep the freezer cold at the next power outage.

3.  Backup your smart phone contact list  I used to store all phone numbers in my cell phone, except for a few that I had memorized.  One day I was talking to my brother and the cell phone ran out of battery life (I know, I wasn’t very prepared that day).  I wanted to call him on a land line when I realized I could not remember his phone number, and the cell phone would not turn on until it was sufficiently charged.  Luckily it was a short term situation.  I backed up all my contact numbers into an old address book the next day.  I know it’s a chore but one day you’ll be glad you have it.

4.  Plan multiple routes out of your city and write them down.  Most people rely on the phone for directions, or on GPS devices.  In an emergency, you may not be able to access the electronic maps.  Why not plot out various emergency routes out of your city or town now, while there is nothing going on.   Find routes via car, or on foot or bicycle.  Get familiar with the street maps and write down directions to get out.  Or better yet, try and get a free paper map from your auto insurance or roadside assistance company.  Keep the maps in your car’s glove box or emergency kit.

5.  Choose one survival skill and practice doing it.  You can try filtering and disinfecting water,  making a fire, assembling a tent, learning CPR by watching an instructional video, etc.

There are lots of things you can do to be prepared that are not too time-consuming or expensive.  It just takes a willingness to learn and a commitment to prepare consistently.

© Apartment Prepper 2016


Vision Support 1000 Product Review

Vision Support 1000 Lutein Eye Supplement Product Review1

This post is by Bernie Carr,

In a previous article, I wrote about the need to protect our eyes, to avoid problems in the future, whether a disaster happens or not.  Our vision is precious, and should be protected and nourished.

I usually take bilberry supplements, and when the bottle ran out, I was looking for a new product to replace it.  I received a sample of Vision Support 1000 Lutein Eye Supplement, for a fair and unbiased review.

Vision Support 1000 contains contains lutein, lycopene, bilberry quercetin,  which all support eye function.   The bottle contains 60 capsules for $19.99 at Amazon.

Vision Support 1000 Lutein Eye Supplement Product Review2

I have been taking it for two weeks.

  • The capsules are easy to swallow.
  • I have not experienced any aftertaste or stomach discomfort even after taking the capsule on an empty stomach.
  • My eyes normally tend to dry out from looking at a computer screen too long.  In the weeks I have been taking it, I have not experienced this problem and have avoiding having to use eye drops which saves me money in the long run.

The bottle contains 60 capsules for $19.99 at Amazon.  This is a reasonable price to pay to care for your eyes.  All in all, Vision Support 1000 is a good supplement and I would continue order it for myself.

© Apartment Prepper 2016


Disclosure: This is a professional review site that sometimes receives free merchandise from the companies whose products we review and recommend. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

How to Choose the Best Air Mattress for Your Bug Out Shelter

How to choose the best air mattress for your bug out shelter

Written by James

After spending about 10 hours in total putting together this guide about sleeping arrangements for your bug-out shelter (air mattresses to be specific)…I spent 5 minutes researching what happened across the USA in those 10 hours.

Here are a few events that struck us while I was hitting the plastic buttons on my keyboard:

  • Major eruption of the Pavlof volcano near Anchorage Alaska
  • A tornado in Louisiana
  • Earthquake in Oklahoma

So, before sharpening our blades and looking at the best scopes for our semis, let’s take a moment to be practical and talk probabilities.

Most realistic bug-out scenarios we can think of right now will drive us to our shelters to weather the storm. It’s a common mistake (although probably more fun) preparing to rough it up in the woods and fail to prepare for urban or shelter survival.


Sleeping arrangements for your shelter

While crashing at your friends’ house or in a cheap motel room will probably have the sleeping arrangement covered, for your shelter, a good airbed is a piece of the puzzle we simply can’t ignore.

So, let’s take a moment and talk about what to look for when choosing the best air mattress for your situation.

Think quality

Words like “quality” have never been thrown around more easily by the companies trying to sell us the products.

It’s understandable, it’s their job to get us to buy.

It’s also our job to be educated consumers and make sure we are getting our money’s worth. So, let us do that – let’s separate marketing blabber from what you should be looking at when choosing and air mattress:

Look past phrases like “high quality” or “puncture-resistant” and look for specifics:


Most of the inflatable beds will be made out of PVC, look for the ones that are textile or rubber-enhanced and the ones that are specific about the PVC being thicker (the ones that do make them thicker will go out of their way to brag about it).



It’s a much lesser concern than it used to be since the air mattress companies started using fumes-free materials for all their products and since a few studies emerged showing that an air mattress has the lowest off-gassing of all the mattress types (research below).


Still, your shelter is not likely to be as ventilated as your bedroom and when choosing a blow-up mattress, take a look at the specs to make sure that it lists BPS-free or phthalates-free – these are the chemicals that used to be an issue.

Power source

Do you have an electric power source in your shelter? What’s the likelihood of it being cut off at some point?

Those are the questions to ask you before choosing an airbed…

Since being prepared means thinking in advance, you will want an airbed that’s versatile when it comes to the way it’s inflated. You are probably better off with one that can inflate both using electric power, batteries and by using a manual or leg pump when push comes to shove.

Make a wrong choice here and you might be left with a piece of useless plastic…


Air mattress has gone a long way from being beach fun and has moved many homes as a permanent bed, mainly with the people who enjoy the fact that you can choose your level of firmness.

But in your bug-out shelter, the level of firmness is not going to be such an issue – you are trying to survive after all and comfort is not a priority.

On the other hand, you might be sleeping on the bed for weeks, months, years in the worst case scenario.

Chambered design is the name of the game here.


The main issue with airbeds used to be the lack of support and it was all about the inner structure.

Modern airbeds that will keep you sound asleep (the good ones) are designed to address just that, using air chambers to mimic the springs of a regular mattress.

Bottom line – every brand has their own pet name for the chambered design but in reality, they are pretty much the same thing. What you should be looking at is the number of the chambers – the higher, the better.

As a rule of thumb, go with 30+ chambers. These beds not only sleep better, but are more durable.


Think space and size

Air mattresses do pack small and you’ll probably be able to stuff 3 of them in that small locker and that’s not really an issue whether your shelter is your apartment or a cabin in the middle of nowhere.

What you should be looking at is to optimize the space, where the mattress(es) would go and how many people they can accommodate.

Twin size is the sweet spot – it comfortably sleeps two people.

Go down a level (single) and you have a mattress that sleeps one person and two of them take significantly much space than a twin.

Go up a level (full) and you still have a bed that sleeps two people but, again, takes up much more space than the twin.


To sum up

We might think we have it all figured out, we have our energy bars, we have our water filtration systems in place but it’s not uncommon for some essential survival needs staring us in the face to be overlooked – like proper sleep.

Choosing smart when getting a portable airbed can make all the difference.

Stay safe,



About the Author:

James is the editor-in-chief of, a site focused on adventure stories, tips and reviews of air mattresses and sleeping pads. He’s a zealot for all things outdoors and an established authors in a number of online publications like TGO Magazine, Klymit blog and Gear X. As he says, his adventure days are behind him, but the days of talking and writing about the lessons he learned over the decades are just starting out.


Building an Emergency Food Supply Just Got a Whole Lot Easier

Let’s be honest.

A lot of preppers lose steam building their emergency food supply because it takes such a long time. You shop the sales, you buy in bulk, you continuously do inventory and discover that you still don’t have the supply you’d hoped for.

Do you want to know the secret to building a food supply that sits there, unattended, waiting to help you out in an emergency?
I have one word for you:  Buckets. That’s right. Buckets of emergency food.

Here’s why every prepper should have some emergency food buckets stashed away:

  • A lot of calories can be condensed into a very small amount of space.
  • If you have the capacity to boil water during an emergency, a filling meal can be yours.
  • They add variety and speed to an emergency food supply.
  • Calorie for calorie, they’re lightweight and easily portable in the event of a bug-out scenario.
  • They’re professionally packaged to have a 25-year shelf life, so you can get it, stick it in the back of your closet, and forget about it until you need it.

But you don’t want just any old buckets. Your emergency food supply should not cause a health crisis. That’s why I recommend Preppers Market   where all of the foods meet strict criteria. Here’s what you won’t find in their products:

No High Fructose Corn Syrup
No Added MSG
No Aspartame
No Soy
No Chemical Preservatives
Gluten-free buckets are available

Each bucket contains a generous one-month supply of delicious food for one person. You can figure out exactly how much you need to feed your entire family for a given period of time.

Visit Prepper’s Market today and be sure that your family is nourished in an emergency.



Vital Protection Often Neglected by Preppers

Vital Protection Often Neglected by Preppers

This post is by Bernie Carr,

I found out one of my co-workers had to take an extended leave because he has an eye injury that requires surgery.  I heard he had gotten hit in the eye while playing sports.  This got me to thinking that in a major disaster, having an eye injury would really make life even more difficult.

When you first think about preparing for disasters, eye care rarely comes to mind.  But if you really consider it, you would be quite helpless if something were to happen to your vision in a disaster situation.  Glasses and contact lenses may not be readily available, and you may not be able to get proper medical care if you are in the midst of an emergency.

Here are a few eye care tips to get you started:

  1. Get your eyes checked on a regular basis.  Most insurance plans cover eye exams annually.
  2. Keep an extra pair of glasses and/or contact lenses in your first aid kit or car, in case of emergencies.  I keep last years prescription glasses as my backup pair just in case.
  3. When cooking or canning, keep your face at a safe distance from the steam when you open or lift any lids.  This sounds may seem so basic and common sense advice, but something that is often forgotten.
  4. Keep toddlers away from stoves that have pots containing boiling liquids or frying oils.  This is another one that seems like it’s not worth mentioning, but I actually know a couple whose toddler pulled a pot of boiling water from the stove and got severely burned.  They were both in the kitchen getting ready for Thanksgiving, but it happened in seconds.  The little boy had third degree burns; fortunately he has since recovered.
  5. On the same note, keep young kids away from toys or tools that have sharp points or edges, until they are old enough to teach the dangers of “running with scissors.”
  6. Get an overall health checkup.  Diabetes and high blood pressure can have complications that are detrimental to vision.
  7. Avoid touching your eyes with dirty hands.
  8. Do not share eye makeup or grooming tools such as lash curlers.
  9. Be conscious of activities that can potentially damage your eyes or harm you, and wear protective eye wear or safety glasses accordingly:
  • Chopping wood
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Hunting or Target Shooting
  • Carpentry work
  • Environmental cleanup or anything that involves chemicals
  • Exposure to bodily fluids
  • Welding
  • Paintball

Ordinary prescription glasses do not protect you from impact, flying debris or noxious chemicals – you need to wear safety goggles over them.  For flying debris or chemicals, find ANSI-approved (American National Standards Institute) eye wear.  These can be found at hardware or home improvement stores, and the rating is indicated on the lens or frame.  Standards for workplace safety glasses are set by OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration).  Make sure the safety glasses fit properly.

4.  Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from damaging UV and UVB rays.

Vision supplements

Vitamin A, B complex, C, D and E are all important to eye health.  In addition, bilberry, a plant extract, helps protect eyes; and lutein, which is a plant pigment, is said to risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.  Omega 3 fatty acids are also beneficial to eye health.  I am currently trying out Vision Support 1000 Lutein Eye Supplement, which I will be reviewing shortly.

Not convinced?  Watch the Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough at Last

Our eyes are fragile, yet we don’t think about them much, until something happens.  They weren’t lying in Christmas Story when the adults told Ralphie “You’ll shoot an eye out!”   Wearing eye protection will help prevent that from happening.

© Apartment Prepper 2016

Updated from a previous post that was originally published on Dec 11, 2013